Here’s a great photo to end the week. Dennis Demcheck a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employee, snapped this great photo of a female Great Horned Owl nesting in a Live Oak tree. Here’s what he had to say about it. “She was ‘staring me down’ because she had eggs to protect. It was taken in southwest Louisiana in the Mermentau River Basin near the town of Thornwell.”
Eastern Screech Owls (Megascops asio) are the smallest resident birds of prey in Shenandoah National Park, weighing only about 5-8 oz. (that’s a couple of candy bars). They are active all winter, leaving their cozy tree-cavity nests at night in search of food. In winter, there is usually an abundance of mice and shrews, but other mainstay dinner items are hiding out until spring: frogs, salamanders, small snakes, lizards, moths, caterpillars and other insects. Wiley Screech Owls have been observed on frosty autumn mornings walking around farm fields, picking off inert grasshoppers like grapes.
Photo: National Park Service
Dennis Davenport’s photo of a great horned owlet from Ridgefield National WIldlife Refuge in Washington was a finalist in the National Wildlife Refuge Association’s 2012 photo contest. See more amazing finalist photos here.
What better way to start off a new week than with a really cool shot of an eastern screech owl? You can see them on many National Wildlife Refuges. Click here to find one close to you!
Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service